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RFU FUNDING

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Insignificant Tick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Insignificant Tick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2019 at 09:05
Would an organised boycott of Twickenham internationals by clubs have any effect in bringing the RFU into line by affecting the only thing they care about  ?

No doubt the RFU would tell us we are cutting off our nose to spite our face but clubs could survive a few seasons without RFU "help" and surely the RFU would begin to wonder why such action is even being considered.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote One For The Ditch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2019 at 09:13
Originally posted by Insignificant Tick Insignificant Tick wrote:

Would an organised boycott of Twickenham internationals by clubs have any effect in bringing the RFU into line by affecting the only thing they care about  ?

No doubt the RFU would tell us we are cutting off our nose to spite our face but clubs could survive a few seasons without RFU "help" and surely the RFU would begin to wonder why such action is even being considered.  

Not convinced that would work as a number of tickets are used, quite appropriately, to reward sponsors. Nose and Face situation I fear!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Eddie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2019 at 10:21
The 2018 annual accounts show the scale of the issue.

The RFU's liabilities exceed their assets by £26.3 million. The only reason that the RFU directors signed off the accounts on a going concern basis was presumably because the long dated nature of the amount owed to debenture holders totalling £219 million means that the RFU can still pay its 'liabilities as they fall due' which is the Companies Act definition of solvency.

However the composition of the  RFU's total assets of £301m makes stark reading.

Land & Buildings and assets underdevelopment totals £186 million - this is almost certainly Twickenham
Fixtures and fittings and equipment is a whopping £89 million. In all likelihood the real value of fixtures and fittings is probably a minute fraction of this number.

The accounts record that the 2018 investment in the professional game was £71 million and the other rugby development investment was £37 m

Now the phrase professional rugby investment seems very clear to me but for the life of me I cannot see what the definition of rugby development investment is but I am sure it doesn't equate to payments made to or on behalf of Community Rugby Clubs.

To my mind this is a scandal


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote One For The Ditch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2019 at 12:58
Originally posted by Big Eddie Big Eddie wrote:

The 2018 annual accounts show the scale of the issue.

The RFU's liabilities exceed their assets by £26.3 million. The only reason that the RFU directors signed off the accounts on a going concern basis was presumably because the long dated nature of the amount owed to debenture holders totalling £219 million means that the RFU can still pay its 'liabilities as they fall due' which is the Companies Act definition of solvency.

However the composition of the  RFU's total assets of £301m makes stark reading.

Land & Buildings and assets underdevelopment totals £186 million - this is almost certainly Twickenham
Fixtures and fittings and equipment is a whopping £89 million. In all likelihood the real value of fixtures and fittings is probably a minute fraction of this number.

The accounts record that the 2018 investment in the professional game was £71 million and the other rugby development investment was £37 m

Now the phrase professional rugby investment seems very clear to me but for the life of me I cannot see what the definition of rugby development investment is but I am sure it doesn't equate to payments made to or on behalf of Community Rugby Clubs.

To my mind this is a scandal



I tend to agree with you BE. Loonatics and Asylums, Breweries and Piss Ups (of which they have enjoyed a few at our expence), springs to mind!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tulip Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2019 at 09:23
Eye opening article in Sunday Times about why Dean Ryan left his role as head of International Players' Development to go to
lowly Newport Dragons.
Finances at RFU are sadly in a mess

Edited by tulip - 19 May 2019 at 09:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2019 at 18:11
Originally posted by Big Eddie Big Eddie wrote:

The accounts record that the 2018 investment in the professional game was £71 million and the other rugby development investment was £37 m

Now the phrase professional rugby investment seems very clear to me but for the life of me I cannot see what the definition of rugby development investment is but I am sure it doesn't equate to payments made to or on behalf of Community Rugby Clubs.

To my mind this is a scandal



I wonder if it is how they account for the AGP programme - those pitches still belong to the RFU and they get the rental income from them remember - si i suppose they could be "rugby development investments"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clive Norling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2019 at 20:35
Originally posted by Dad Dad wrote:

Originally posted by Big Eddie Big Eddie wrote:

The accounts record that the 2018 investment in the professional game was £71 million and the other rugby development investment was £37 m

Now the phrase professional rugby investment seems very clear to me but for the life of me I cannot see what the definition of rugby development investment is but I am sure it doesn't equate to payments made to or on behalf of Community Rugby Clubs.

To my mind this is a scandal




I wonder if it is how they account for the AGP programme - those pitches still belong to the RFU and they get the rental income from them remember - si i suppose they could be "rugby development investments"


Good point, well made ....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clive Norling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2019 at 20:50
Quote from the article ......

"“The trouble is that there are fixed costs rising all the time in the game, the higher wages and the fact that the payments to the major clubs went off the scale,”

And that in a nut shell is why the RFU are in massive financial trouble and there are really only two people to blame for that and funny how they've both left the company, strange that isn't it, before the brown stuff hit the fan at 100mph!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clive Norling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2019 at 21:02
Originally posted by tulip tulip wrote:


Finances at RFU are sadly in a mess


That is an understatement of epic proportions ....

2015 we ran the RWC and made a PROFIT of over £30 million, less than 4 years later, we're close to being bankrupt, every Council member over the last 4 years and every Board member for the RFU in that time, should take a long hard look at themselves and ask what could they have done to stop the company being in this position and maybe a few people should have the guts to resign and let's get people in place who know and understand business!

However, I won't hold my breath on that happening .....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Neasham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 12:42
60% cut in travel subsidy to Level 6 will save them getting on for £400k I reckon.
Community Clubs to the rescue.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clive Norling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 13:18
Originally posted by Neasham Neasham wrote:

60% cut in travel subsidy to Level 6 will save them getting on for £400k I reckon.
Community Clubs to the rescue.


Nigel Melville been told to find £2.5 million in saving next season, here is a radical suggestion, why don't we ask the 23 players in a Test match squad, to take a pay cut from £25k to 10k per game, that would save £1 million per season.

£25k to play for YOUR COUNTRY, is obscene ......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 15:22
This subject is set to run - I remember when Ritchie was brought in as an experienced sports administrator - which other industry would allow him to be employed by a beneficary? 

Not good by the RFU
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clive Norling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 16:40
Originally posted by Bigmal Bigmal wrote:

This subject is set to run - I remember when Ritchie was brought in as an experienced sports administrator - which other industry would allow him to be employed by a beneficary? 

Not good by the RFU


Quote from the Daily Telegraph in 2011 ......

The first item is of course the retractable roof that appeared on Wimbledon’s Centre Court two years ago, and remains the single most impressive feat of sports engineering in the world. As chief executive of the All England Club, Ian Ritchie was the man in charge of delivering a project that could all too easily have spiralled out of control.

Oh, how come the East stand refurbishment has gone over budget by 50% then!
CEO of Wimbledon, god that must be a really tough gig, I mean there are all those other high ranking tennis tournaments going on in England at the same time, tickets are only over subscribed by about 10 times, they ballot every year, it MUST BE so hard to make the tournament a success and turn a profit ...... give me strength, the interview panel also have to have some serious questions asked as to how they chose him as the best candidate .....

Then to jump ship as he realises it's all starting to unravel and he is going to look not very good, RFU directors, hang your heads in shame that you didn't bring the CEO to account at any stage .....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 16:49
As it turns out I was involved in construction disputes during my working life so have some knowledge of what can go wrong. Tbh the Wimbledon roof is seen as a successful project but the Millenium Stadium brought a major company to its knees and Wembley was a nightmare by all accounts.

One would have thought that the RFU would have access to professionals but then again when onnw RFU coaching course dome years back I was lectured about communication because I wasnt a teacher.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Eddie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 17:50
Originally posted by Clive Norling Clive Norling wrote:

Originally posted by Bigmal Bigmal wrote:

This subject is set to run - I remember when Ritchie was brought in as an experienced sports administrator - which other industry would allow him to be employed by a beneficary? 

Not good by the RFU


Quote from the Daily Telegraph in 2011 ......

The first item is of course the retractable roof that appeared on Wimbledon’s Centre Court two years ago, and remains the single most impressive feat of sports engineering in the world. As chief executive of the All England Club, Ian Ritchie was the man in charge of delivering a project that could all too easily have spiralled out of control.

Oh, how come the East stand refurbishment has gone over budget by 50% then!
CEO of Wimbledon, god that must be a really tough gig, I mean there are all those other high ranking tennis tournaments going on in England at the same time, tickets are only over subscribed by about 10 times, they ballot every year, it MUST BE so hard to make the tournament a success and turn a profit ...... give me strength, the interview panel also have to have some serious questions asked as to how they chose him as the best candidate .....

Then to jump ship as he realises it's all starting to unravel and he is going to look not very good, RFU directors, hang your heads in shame that you didn't bring the CEO to account at any stage .....

Spot on. Many of these types of 'businessmen' get lucrative paid sinecures through politics and the naivety of the selection panel. These types have never taken personal risk and project an aura of expertise which is not supported by the facts.

Wimbledon is a 'monopoly' business with little competition a new graduate from business school would struggle to mess its revenue model up. So the RFU appoint Ritchies because...............I have no idea 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clive Norling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 18:59
Originally posted by Bigmal Bigmal wrote:

As it turns out I was involved in construction disputes during my working life so have some knowledge of what can go wrong. Tbh the Wimbledon roof is seen as a successful project but the Millenium Stadium brought a major company to its knees and Wembley was a nightmare by all accounts.

One would have thought that the RFU would have access to professionals but then again when onnw RFU coaching course dome years back I was lectured about communication because I wasnt a teacher.



Think the word is "arrogance", which funnily enough is how many other countries view the RFU, not the foot soldiers I should add but the senior management ....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2019 at 00:08
Aside from the roof,  he was in charge during  the building of the new number 2, 3 and 4 courts.
But it is hard to know how much is down to the CEO and how much to the team.
As mentioned, he was also a director of Wembley during the rebuild and that did not go well.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2019 at 11:09
CEO gets the big bucks and accepts the responsibility.

I mentioned Wembley 'cos it was a high profile , sporting project. Didn't realise that Ritchie had a role.

I've got some great anecdotes relating to building projects that went wrong and suspect that a quick trawl through the relevant paperwork at HQ could be most revealing. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Clive Norling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2019 at 12:19
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Aside from the roof,  he was in charge during  the building of the new number 2, 3 and 4 courts.
But it is hard to know how much is down to the CEO and how much to the team.
As mentioned, he was also a director of Wembley during the rebuild and that did not go well.



Ok, I'll nail my colours well and truly to the mast .....

Francis Baron, didn't particularly warm to him but by god, financially he did a great job

John Steele, loved him, refereed him, refereed teams he coached, thought he was a brilliant appointment, rugby guy with business experience, the politics of the day did for him but you reap what you sow because ....

Ian Ritchie, UNMITIGATED DISASTER, he and Steven Brown, have brought the company financially to it's knees and I challenge any existing employee, any ex employee from the last 3 years, any Council Member and any Board executive to prove otherwise ....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2019 at 14:08
A clear and unambiguous statement from someone who has some knowledge of the culture within the RFU - interesting article in Guardian covering the wider world position but it is clear that things are NOT going well both locally ( England) and internationally.

Ireland appear to have a good business model but Wales and Scotland both have issues as do the French and Italians. I'm not sure what the answer is but in England's case using money intended for the wider game to help the Prem clubs import large squads of players from overseas does seem a tad short sighted.In particular the "freezing" of an initiative designed to bring together the best of the current crop of U16 talent seems downright criminal.

The RFU need to :-

1. Get their house in order and do away with outdated and amateurish practices.
2. Sort out the organisational structure.
3. Sort out the Prem and enforce salary caps.
4. Sort out the Championship which offers a transitional level for aspiring internationals.
5.Consider whether to maintain the remaining national structure ( Leeagues 1 and 2)
6. Enforce the non payment of players below Nat 2
7 Restrict the payment of coaches/DoR to Reg Prem and above.
8. support the game below the Reg Prem level in a fair and structured manner.

There may well be ambitious clubs out there who still want to climb the pyramid but there are a considerable number of well established top flight clubs who have fallen dramatically. 

I appreciate that this covers ground outside RFU Funding  but as with Jamie Oliver having a big name doesn't mean you can't fail.
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